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How to Encode an Excel File to UTF-8 or

UTF-16
Last Modified on 04/03/2014 11:15 am
There are many different ways that various programs encode their files, and, depending on how
files are encoded, you can get different results when uploading them to online software. If you're
using special characters such as Kanji, or an umlaut, you'll notice that not all software or
programs support them.
Encoding your Excel files into a UTF-8 or UTF-16 format can help to ensure anything you
upload into SurveyGizmo can be read and displayed properly. Email Campaigns,
Login/Password Actions, Contact Management and the Data Importer all have the ability to
receive CSV file uploads. In order to display special characters correctly, they require UTF-8
and UTF-16 encoding.
How to Encode your Excel Files
Below are videos and step by step instructions on how to go about encoding your Excel files to
UTF-8 and UTF-16. As each version of Excel is different, we've provided broad & basic
instructions for several versions. Your experience may vary.
Excel Versions 1999 to 2010
Quick Step by Step Video: UTF-8 Encoding Video
1. Go to your Excel document.
2. Click File (or the Colorful circle icon, depending on the version of Excel you have).
3. Select Save As and choose the format of the Excel file you'd like to use
4. Name your file, and update your file path as needed
5. Click Tools, then select Web options
6. Go to the Encoding tab
7. In the dropdown for Save this document as: choose Unicode (UTF-8)
8. Click Ok
9. Click Save
Office/Excel 2011 and forward
Office 2011 and subsequent versions only provide a UTF-16 formatting option. This will export
your data as .txt, but as long as it's tab separated, our system will be able to detect it's set up
properly.
Quick Step by Step Video UTF-16 Encoding for 2011 Excel
1. Go to your Excel document
2. Click File
3. Choose Save As
4. Name your file, and update your file path as needed
5. Click the dropdown menu next to Format
6. Choose UTF-16 Unicode Text
7. Click Save
You may see a warning message (this is because you're converting the file to UTF-16).
8. Click Continue
Open Office.org
If you do not have access to Excel, you can download the free open-source office software suite
called OpenOffice. To learn more, please visit: http://www.openoffice.org
Quick Step by Step Video: UTF-8 Open Office Video
1. Open up OpenOffice, and open your Excel document
2. Click File in the upper left hand corner of your tool bar
3. Choose Save As
4. Name your file, and update your file path as needed
5. Save your Type as CSV, and then check the box for Edit Filter Settings
6. Click Save
It will take a moment but an Export of text files window will show up with more options
7. Next to Character Set, choose Unicode (UTF-8)
8. Click OK, and you're done!
Using Terminal
As a last ditch effort you can easily convert files to utf-8 encoding using terminal. Save your csv
to your desktop with a concise file name.
iOS Steps
1. Hit command+spacebar to get to Spotlight and search for "Terminal" and click Terminal to
open.
2. At the prompt enter:
cd desktop
3. Paste in the following:
iconv -c -t utf8 filename.csv > filename.utf8.csv
4. Change your filenames to match the one on your desktop and press Enter.
5. Et Voila! Your file is utf-8 encoded. Do not open file after you convert!
Windows Steps
1. Go to the Start menu and search "cmd" and click cmd to open.
2. At the prompt enter:
cd desktop
3. Paste in the following:
iconv -c -t utf8 filename.csv > filename.utf8.csv
4. Change your filenames to match the one on your desktop and press Enter.
5. Et Voila! Your file is utf-8 encoded. Do not open file after you convert!